If you have invested in a pair of quality leather footwear then you will understand the need to take proper care the shoes. These few steps will guide you on how to properly care for leather footwear.
Step One: Clean
- Regularly remove dust and light surface debris from the uppers with a horsehair brush.
- Dip a soft sponge into water to wet slightly and gently workup a lather of the saddle soap on the surface of the shoe.
- Leave your shoes to dry at room temperature and avoid the temptation to use heat. It will dry out and damage the leather.
Step Two: Condition
- You should apply a conditioner to your shoes whenever you feel the leather is getting dry, but this is something of an acquired skill and it’s not always so easy to determine – a general rule is to condition every five to ten wears in hard conditions and every fifteen to twenty-five otherwise.
- Get a soft cloth and buff a little of the conditioner into the shoes in small layers using tight, circular motions.
Step Three: Polishing
- Make sure you match the colour of your polish to the colour of your shoe.
- Shoe polish should be applied in small, gradually layered amounts using a horsehair brush or cloth moved in concentric circles with mild pressure.
- Spit shining is an effective technique commonly used to give a high shine finish to dress shoes. Find a soft rag, stretch it over your index and middle finger, twist the loose ends of the cloth until the material is tautly stretched over the fingers, and hold.
- Then, apply a few drops of water to your rag-swaddled fingers and rub gently on the same spot until you feel a hardening of the wax; with a good bit of elbow grease, a decent shine should begin to appear. If the wax still remains soft and you still cannot feel any change, wait for thirty seconds, apply another few drops of water and re-work the same spot. When a shine has appeared in one spot, move on to the next until the entire shoe is gleaming.
- As a general rule, it’s good practice to strip the excess wax polish from your dress shoes every three to six months, then condition and rebuild.
Image Credit: MS ANJE JAGER